Topia Technology’s chief product, Secrata, was developed in government environments to become an ultra-secure file-encryption system

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What: Tacoma-based Topia Technology.

Who: Janine Terrano, founder and CEO.


Security on steroids: The company’s chief product, Secrata, helps companies ensure that computer files transfer across networks and devices in a highly secure fashion. Secrata is a data-security platform that “shreds” a file into numerous smaller pieces, uniquely encrypts each piece and transfers it along networks to devices, cloud storage or other locations. Secrata provides the encryption keys to the enterprise alone.

The silver lining: Terrano started Topia in 1999, and she says 9/11 resulted in Topia and other private companies bringing innovation to the U.S. government.

Taking off: After being introduced to Federal Aviation Administration officials, Topia would go on to work with other agencies, including the Army, the Transportation Security Administraion and Air Force. This work allowed Topia to develop and deploy its technology in environments that required highly fortified security with lofty performance metrics.

Stepping out: About 18 months ago, Topia decided to commercialize a standardized yet flexible version of its technology. In turn, it made a “deliberate pivot from the federal government.” Now, Topia is positioning Secrata as a security solution for enterprises.

In the news: Topia, which has 22 employees, recently raised $5.5 million in a Series B round of funding, bringing the total raised to $15 million. That news coincided with an agreement Topia just inked with Hewlett-Packard, which adds Secrata to the tech giant’s enterprise-services portfolio. “We’ve been in stealth mode for a little bit, so now with these key partner relationships … we’re now in that growth mode again,” Terrano says.

Paradigm shift: As a female CEO in the technology sector, Terrano recognizes that she’s among a minority. “It is pretty much male-dominated, but I think we’re seeing shifts in that area,” she says, noting Meg Whitman, head of HP, and Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM.

— Jason Axelrod